Solitude is being with God and God alone.
Is there any space for that in your
There is a story of three ascetics
monks. One gave himself the task of
enemies according to the words "Blessed
are the peacemakers"; another
himself to visiting the sick; and the
went off to the desert. The first wore
out trying to keep men fighting each
and, disillusioned, went to visit the
who cared for the sick. He found that
too had become discouraged by the unending
task and was ready to give it up.
So they went to the desert to see how
third was getting on. They told him
problems and asked if he had made any
He was silent for a moment and then
some water into a vase and said: 'Just
at this water'. They did, and it was
A little later he said to them: 'See
how the water is cleared'. And they
see their faces in it like a mirror.
he said to them: 'This is like the
lives among other men and because of
turbulence cannot see his own sins,
he lives alone, especially in the desert,
he can see his failings'. Staying alone
some time during the day helps you
life in a better perspective.
A brother told Abba Sisoes: 'I want
my heart but I can't.' The Abba replied:
'How can we control our hearts when
open the door of our mouths?'
Abba Diadochus said: 'Just as if you
open the door of the public baths the
escapes and their virtue is lost, so
virtue of the person who talks a lot
the open door of the voice. This is
is a good thing; it's nothing less
mother of wise thoughts'. Solitude
an escape. It is a presence.
Theophile the Archbishop went one day
Scete and the brothers asked Abba Pambo:
'Say a word to the Father so that he
be edified'. The old man said to them:
he is not edified by my silence, he
not be edified by my words'.
Abba Isaias said: 'Love to be silent
than to speak. For silence heaps up
while speaking always scatters'. He
said: 'It is better to live among the
and keep a solitary life in your spirit
to live alone with your heart in the
This is funny. The blessed Archbishop
came to see Abba Arsenius once with
and asked the Abba for a word of profit.
After remaining silent for a time,
asked him: 'And if I give you one,
keep it?' They promised to keep it.
the Abba said to them: 'Wherever you
that Arsenius is - stay away'.
Sometimes I think of life as a big
wheel with many spokes. In the middle
the hub. Often in life, it looks like
are running around the rim trying to
everybody. But God says, "Start
hub; live in the hub. Then you will
with all the spokes, and you won't
run so fast."
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission
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